The 2018 Farm Bill opened up the legal use of CBD and other hemp products, within the confines of US regulations on the matter.
Some consumers may be under the impression that just because CBD products are legal means they can travel with them through any mode of transportation. The law is still fresh, though, so you may be surprised at where cannabidiol and other hemp-derived products are still banned.
Today, we’re going to provide you with an in-depth look at how to safely travel with CBD oil or other CBD products.
We’ll examine the different modes of transportation’s policies on CBD, give you important tips and tricks on how to stay above the law, and make sure you’re prepared to travel with CBD no matter how you need to get to your destination. Now, let’s dive into our 2019 Guide to traveling with CBD.
Are All CBD Products Legal?
Firstly, even though we said hemp products are legal thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, there’s still a certain definition for what qualifies as hemp. In fact, we changed the legal definition of industrial hemp to mean any cannabis strain that contains less than 0.3% THC.
There are further steps a CBD brand must take to keep their products legal, though; hemp sourced from overseas may not live up to the United States’ production regulations and rules. This can not only cause us to question the safety of the hemp, as it could’ve been exposed to pesticides and other pollutants during cultivation, but it can also lead to an inconsistency in how much THC is in each plant.
Legal CBD products are grown in the United States and a select few other countries. They’re properly tested through a third-party lab and each batch has a certificate of analysis (COA). Some brands make it easy to get this information by providing a QR code on the back of the product label for you to easily scan and see the lab results directly from your phone or other mobile device.
When you do get a chance to glance at the lab results, make sure the testing meets ISO 17025 standards. Likewise, make sure the COA has been validated by one of three national regulatory organizations: the US Pharmacopeia, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, and the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists.
The COA should deliver results for whether the CBD extract has been tested for and is free of pesticides, heavy metals, herbicides, and other contaminants.
It should also deliver results for the potency of the product.
You should be able to read how much CBD, how much THC, and how many other cannabinoids are in each product. Some brands take it a step further and will provide you with a full terpene profile as well, indicating their broad-spectrum or full-spectrum value.
So, you can feel safer about traveling with a CBD product by knowing everything involved in making sure a CBD product is legal. Keep watch on the CBD brand you shop with to ensure they test every batch of their products and are meeting all the other guidelines they need to in order to stay clear.
Taking CBD by Plane
Can you take CBD oil in a plane? Technically, yes, it’s legal to pack CBD oil or another CBD product in your checked luggage, as well as your carry-on. As long as that CBD product contains less than 0.3% THC and meets all other regulations to keep it legal, you can technically bring it with you – but unfortunately, you could still be delayed by security.
CBD is still only freshly legal, and while these certain cannabis-infused products are now accessible to the public, other cannabis-infused products and especially marijuana remain illegal under federal law. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a policy directly on their web platform, stating,
“TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers. Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”
So, just proceed with caution when it comes to flying with a CBD product. Carry-on bags can contain smaller-sized containers of 3.4 ounces or less, so don’t try to bring something bigger than that.
Likewise, purchase a new, sealed CBD product for the trip. You’re less likely to experience as much hassle if the product is still sealed and in its original, unsuspicious packaging because it shows it wasn’t tampered with.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the TSA is not actively trying to find CBD in your luggage, or even cannabis of any kind. Their only priority is safety from terrorism; they don’t care that you’re taking CBD for general wellness. Make their job easier by doing your part to stay within all their rules and guidelines for travel.
Unfortunately, do feel warned that you these tips are just to reduce the likelihood and intensity of how the TSA may hassle you. In some cases, they may confiscate your CBD oil and call the appropriate authorities to take it and have it tested for THC. While this is an extreme case, some TSA officers are not yet familiar with the differences between hemp and marijuana products
Taking CBD by Car
Federally, CBD products that contain under 0.3% THC are legal. Certain states have their own regulations that take it further than the law, however. There are presently at least four states that have bans or stricter regulations on cannabidiol products through their state lines. Likewise, some local areas and cities may not allow the sale and use of CBD in their jurisdiction.
If you’re traveling somewhere by car, map out all the places you’ll be driving through in between to make sure you’re going on a path that takes you around any bans or restrictions on CBD. Even though you’d just be driving through, the rules still apply, so the risk of getting pulled over can be too high for some people.
In the event you do get pulled over, make sure you have access to the lab results for your CBD products. To be able to prove their legality right there can save you a huge headache and may even save you from getting arrested!
Taking CBD by Bus, Train, Boat, etc.
Just because it’s legal on a federal level doesn’t mean individual companies are required to allow it. Many transportation companies still have rules against CBD in place that may put a hitch in your travel plans.
The North American passenger railroad service we know as Amtrak, for example, states in their policy:
“The use or transportation of marijuana in any form for any purpose is prohibited, even in states or countries where recreational use is legal or permitted medically.
However, one might argue that CBD is derived from hemp, which is a separate plant from marijuana, so CBD and other hemp-derived products should not quality under this rule.
Quite a few cruise ship lines have similar strict policies. Disney Cruise Line, for example, appears to lump CBD and other hemp products in with illegal substances:
“Illegal narcotics/drugs, including synthetic, designer drugs and medically prescribed marijuana, as well as all drug paraphernalia, including items used for marijuana, cannabis and hemp”
While we can’t argue that CBD does fall under this prohibited items list, we are surprised to see it still there even after the FDA approved CBD oil as an effective treatment for two very rare types of seizure conditions that are most often found in children.
Different intercity bus lines may have different rules for how they handle cannabidiol products. Most of the time, if you keep your CBD up and out of the way there’s not going to be an issue. However, Flixbux, Megabus, Peter Pan, and Greyhound, the biggest bus line transportation companies in the US, may all have different rules on the matter. Check with your local intercity bus line to ensure you’re following their rules for the entire duration of your journey.
While we’ve provided a great deal of advice for how you can make sure you’re safest while traveling with CBD, we do have to say there’s an easier way to avoid any legal changes. For however long your trip might be, it may be worth it to just leave the CBD at home this time. The easiest way to avoid delays, questions, and stress is to simply not take the cannabidiol products with you.
Likewise, a possible alternative is to either mail your CBD product to your destination or order a CBD product to be delivered to your destination. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll have a brand-new CBD oil or other product waiting for you when you finally make it to your destination, whether you traveled by plane, car, boat, bus, or whatever other mode of transportation you used. We hope our guide on traveling with CBD was helpful in teaching you how to make sure your products are legal, which keeps them safe and effective.